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Securing America’s Future:

The Power of Liberal Arts Education

Joseph P. Clayton

President and CEO of DISH Network
Bellarmine University (KY), Class of 1971
Joseph P. Clayton has changed entertainment history through 41 years of leadership in the satellite communications, telecommunications, and consumer electronics industries. Currently he serves as president and CEO of DISH Network, a Fortune 200 company that provides satellite TV programming and technology to more than 14 million customers. He also has served as chairman and CEO of Sirius Satellite Radio, president of Global Crossing North America, and president and CEO of Frontier Corp. Additionally, Mr. Clayton has held executive positions with RCA, General Electric, and Thomson SA. 

Consumer technology as we know it today did not exist in 1971 when Clayton graduated from Bellarmine College (now University). He currently serves on the Bellarmine Board of Trustees, funding multiple student scholarships each year and personally mentoring the recipients throughout their college careers and beyond.
I have often reflected on my college career at Bellarmine University and what liberal arts education meant to me. I could have easily gone to a large state school and majored in the sciences—but the large school would not have properly prepared me to learn about history, art, music, philosophy, or comparative religions. Students getting ready to go to college need to know that when they are in a place like Singapore, people are not going to ask them who won the “big football game” that weekend. International businessmen and women must discuss topics that impact the entire world, and being well-versed in art history, foreign languages, and an appreciation for other cultures is critically important—and that is what the liberal arts and my alma mater, Bellarmine University, did to help prepare me for a professional business career and life itself.
 

International businessmen and women must discuss topics that impact the entire world, and being well-versed in art history, foreign languages, and an appreciation for other cultures is critically important.

 
Growing up in Bardstown, Kentucky, my liberal arts education introduced me to the world long before my work allowed me to travel to the places that I had studied. I lived in the residence halls, was a member of student government, played in the campus band, and joined Alpha Delta Gamma Fraternity. All of these outside-of-the-classroom activities expanded my horizons, and they taught me about the power of involvement. I learned many of my basic leadership skills from being involved on a small, but very active, campus. To this day, I cherish the memories of my liberal arts experience and the personal attention that I received at Bellarmine University. I am sure it prepared me not only to lead in the corporate sector, but to become a good husband, father, and community servant.
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